Ephemeral flowers: Short lasting flowers

The word ephemeral means transitory or quickly fading. True to their name, ephemeral flowers are known for their short periods of survival. Read more to learn about this.

“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.”

-William Wordsworth

There are mainly four types of ephemeral flowers:-

1.Spring ephemerals: These comprise of perennial woodland wildflowers which emerge during the initial phase of spring. They quickly bloom and produce seeds and then its leaves wilt, leaving behind the residue of underground structures.

2.Desert ephemerals: Desert ephemerals are specialized towards utilizing the favourable seasons in the desert regions. There are certain desert annuals which can thrive despite the lack of water whereas others often become dormant as they cannot survive the inadequate water.

3.Weedy ephemerals: Weed ephemerals burgeon owing to the activities of ploughing, road construction and mowing. They are also termed ruderals and lack any commercial value.

4.Mud flat ephemerals: Transitory plants take advantage of short periods of low water that triggers the proliferation of seeds which are buried in the mud till the upcoming low water period.

Here goes a list of five spring ephemeral flowers that will enhance the glory and beauty of your garden:

– Daffodil-These bulbous perennials belong to the lineage of the Amaryllis family and are also known by the name of narcissus. They emanate during the initial stage of spring with a cornucopia of around 20 bell or bowl shaped flowers. The colour varies from white going through yellow and also orange. Daffodils have globular and black seeds.

ephemeral flowers


– Squirrel Corn- A proud member of the fumitory family, squirrel corns comes as button heart-shaped flowers. A native of North America, it is a deciduous herbaceous plant with beautiful clustered bulbets.

ephemeral flowers

Squirrel corn

– Sagebrush Buttercup- It is an herbaceous perennial plant whose basal leaves are oval in shape with large petioles. However, the causal leaves have short petioles. The sagebrush is a gorgeous flowering plant belonging to the buttercup family. The flower is found in North America, Western Canada and the North-western Great Plains.

ephemeral flowers

Sagebrush buttercup

– Shooting Star- Known by the names of American cowslip, sailor’s cap, mosquito bills and mad violets, it surely generates curiosity. The flowers are pollinated by bees through the process of buzz pollination. It demands well-drained and dry soil in summer and moist soil during the winter. If you are planning to minimize the interval between germination and flowering, then treat them to a generous amount of fertilization and ensure adequate moisture levels in the soil.

ephemeral flowers

Shooting star

– Spring Beauty- Also known as Eastern spring beauty, Virginia Spring beauty or fairy spud, they are a native to the Eastern temperate deciduous forest in North America. The speciality of spring beauty lies in flower petals which are capable of reflecting UV rays. The individual flowers blossom for three days. Flowering is observed between March and May.

ephemeral flowers

Spring beauty

Next spring try out some of these ephemeral beauties and enjoy their transitory appeal. Happy gardening!

Happy Gardening

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